Incentivized ‘Stang: Cash Falls Like Leaves on Outgoing 2019 Mustang

It’s hardly unusual for an automaker to boost incentives in the fall, stimulating buyer interest in a bid to clear out current-model-year inventory, but market forces appear to have made Ford extra generous this October.

Starting late last week, the automaker is adding an extra $1,000 off most 2019 Mustangs, with extra financial grease heaped on EcoBoost models. It’s more cash than buyers got last year at this time, but then again, the Mustang isn’t exactly where it would like to be.

According to CarsDirect, the extra grand in discounts dries up on November 13th. Until then, U.S. buyers can expect to see $2,500 off most models, plus a $750 inventory bonus if the particular vehicle has been in stock for over 61 days. If you’re a deal-seeking cheapskate who’s fine not having a V8, that means $3,250 off a base coupe that starts at $26,395 before destination.

Buyers looking at an uplevel EcoBoost Premium coupe stand to save more — up to $4,250. CarsDirect notes that in late October of 2018, discounts topped out at about $2,500. It also notes that the Mustang is one of those vehicles where buyers might save themselves considerable cash by stretching their payments over a longer term, depending on region. In this case, a zero-percent loan for 6 years comes out cheaper than a 5-percent loan over 5 years. If you can find it, hop aboard.

While this October’s combination of incentives tops last year’s, there’ll probably still be Black Friday deals worth waiting for come a few weeks from now. Don’t despair.

As pony cars make like sedans and dwindle in volume, the pressure’s on to move remaining inventory in any way possible. Through the end of September, U.S. Mustang sales fell 10.1 percent in 2019. Last year saw the model sink 7.4 percent compared to 2017. In fact, 2015, the first full year of the current-generation model, was a post-recession high point for the nameplate. That year’s volume (122,439) was the highest since 2007, before which the Mustang would traditionally sell well into the six-figure range.

You’d have to go back to 1993 before finding another five-figure sales year, and how old was the Fox-body ‘Stang by that date? That’s right, 14 years old. Even then, the aging pony sold better than in 2017, 2018, and most certainly in 2019. While the nameplate suffered worse volume during and immediately after the recession, today’s economy is far better. Consumers just aren’t buying as many 2+2 playthings with their hard-earned cash.

All that said, Ford’s trying hard to make the nameplate appealing. This past year saw the launch of a new GT350 and GT500, plus the introduction of a far more attainable EcoBoost High Performance Package. On the horizon looms a hybrid, potential all-wheel drive, and, if things don’t turn around, maybe — just maybe — something that strikes fear into the heart of heritage fans and motoring purists.

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